Susan Grossey

A collection of columns

I’m in a bind: I have come up with a Top Tip for writing, but I can’t implement it myself, except in the short term.  Here it is: live alone.  My husband is away on a two-week business trip; we’re halfway through, and this has given me time to revert to my natural sleep/wake cycle – wake at 5.30am, lights out at 10pm at the very latest – and so gets lots and lots of writing done in the early morning, when I am at my most productive.  Of course I can’t wait until he gets home, but in the meantime, I am now writing two books.

Yes, two.  There is “Plank 5” (formerly known as “Plank 6”), of course, and I had the luxury of a WHOLE DAY in the University Library yesterday, researching early nineteenth century cults (weirdos and wackos, to a man).  And now there is “Susan in the City, best of”.  For ten years – April 2016 to January 2017 – I wrote a weekly column, called “Susan in the City”, for our local newspaper, the Cambridge News.  And then came budget cuts, and I was out on my ear.  Lemons, lemonade and all that, and a writing friend (Debbie, that’s you) suggested that I could gather my favourite columns into a book.  I suggested it to my (ex-)editor, and he agreed – and so I have been reading all six hundred (six hundred!) plus columns in order to select the eighty that I want to go down in history as the crème de la crème of Susan.

But I do need your help – it’s that blasted title.  The column was “Susan in the City” and I probably need to retain that in order to attract the, oh, dozens of regular readers who will remember me.  I was thinking of “Susan in the City: The Best of Ten Years of Writing for the Cambridge News” – but is that too clunky?  I think I need to get the name of the newspaper in, for people who know it but not me.  And it would be misleading to leave out “Best of”, in case people think they’re getting all six hundred columns.  Ideas please!


  1. Zoe Avatar

    Highlights? Instead of best of …
    Susan in the City – crime de la creme
    Something along th eAdrian `mole titles? Susan in the City – the Cambridge (news) years
    You could then go on to include the London years, Offfshore years, Alderney episodes, Guernsey Tales, Jersey debacles etc etc

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      Zoe, I really like “Susan in the City: The Cambridge News Years” – much snappier! Thank you.

  2. colingarrow Avatar

    Have to agree with the living alone thing – I’ve published 14 books in the last two years of being on my own. As to your title, I’d go with Zoe’s suggestion.

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      Ah well, at least I’ll have something to do when I am a glamorous widow! (Husband is nearly two years older than I am, so BOUND to go first…)

  3. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    Zoe’s nailed it.

    Living alone helps enormously, but there is still plenty of excuses for procrastinating. I’ve found the only reliable method is to remove oneself from familiar surroundings – as you do in your retreat Susan. Ignore Net & phone and just write.

  4. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    Zoe, you’re the winner: it’s going to be “Susan in the City: The Cambridge News Years”. I’ve already given the title to the cover designer, so that’s that!

    And boy are you right about the procrastination, Roy – I’ve just sorted out my cereal cupboard in the kitchen, and rewound four balls of knitting wool…

  5. New book on the block | Susan Grossey

    […] been a very bed historical fiction author, but a rather laudable modern non-fiction author.  Yes, my collection of columns from my decade writing for the local newspaper is just about ready to be launched on the […]

  6. Columns of columns | Susan Grossey

    […] here they are, at long last: my first batch of copies of “Susan in the City” – a collection of eighty of the 510 columns that I wrote for my local newspaper over the last […]

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